India Allwell is a famous actress, an adoptive mother and a single parent. Her story is told in the present as well as her years growing up. In the present, India is totally caught off guard when she finds herself in the middle of a media storm. Her new movie, which she is supposed to be promoting, is a story about adoption. While India has kept her personal life very private, she publicly criticizes her own movie noting that she doesn't believe the film's depiction that adoption is a last resort choice where pain and regret is always involved. But it seems that no matter what she says, social media makes India look worse and worse. The story shifts to the past showing India's determination to become an actress followed by her ultimate break. Along the way, the definition of family becomes very different for India. And while she's totally comfortable with all her life choices, she now has to deal with the things that she has kept well hidden, becoming very public.
I became a fan of author Laurie Frankel after reading her 2017 book This Is How It Always Is, which is about a family with a transgender child. In Family Family, Frankel addresses adoption and other societal issues. While this compelling book deals with the messy complexities of family and love, it has an upbeat spirit with humor and witty dialogue. Some of the plot twists seemed a bit unbelievable and several characters were quirky, yet the warmth of the story and its positive messaging made this a very appealing book. Be sure to read the Author's Note at the end.
Many thanks to Henry Holt & Co. for providing an advance copy.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: January 23, 2023.
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